At the close of the Civil War, the industrial hub of Elmira, NY began to pioneer a new model of economic development: they opened a reformatory. The model served them well. In the twentieth century, nineteenth-century industry collapsed around Elmira in Albany, NY and Pittsburgh, PA. Elmira, however, survived, even flourished, thanks to a constant stream of prison-based revenue.
150 years later, what does an experiment in prison-based development look like? Is it actually a healthy form of urbanism? In Rust Belt Tour '09, scholar Jo Guldi and activist Simon Strikeback traveled the landscape between Flint, Michigan and Holyoke, Massachusetts, documenting the foreclosures, arsons, vacant lots, anarchist squats, community gardens, and revitalization projects across eleven cities.
The LANDSPLOITATION Podcast -- http://landsploitation.blogspot.com -- hosts experimental video and audio documenting the social experience of the human landscape, including but not limited to the spaces of the built environment, vernacular architecture, proxemics, human interaction, and political boundaries.
Submissions from independent scholars, photographers, and filmmakers are welcome. To submit, please insure that sound or video is hosted on a public server (such as archive.org) and email the link together with a brief description of your piece to landscapestudies (at) gmail (dot) com.
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